Bernard Lord

Shawn Graham Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick Premier of New Brunswick
Bernard Lord

Bernard Lord.jpg
30th Premier of New Brunswick
In office
June 21, 1999 – October 3, 2006
MonarchElizabeth II
Lieutenant GovernorMarilyn T. Counsell
Herménégilde Chiasson
Preceded byCamille Theriault
Succeeded byShawn Graham
MLA for Moncton East
In office
October 19, 1998 – January 31, 2007
Preceded byRay Frenette
Succeeded byChris Collins
Personal details
Born (1965-09-27) September 27, 1965 (age 54)
Roberval, Quebec
Political partyProgressive Conservative
Diane Lord
(m. 1990)

Bernard Lord ONB QC (born September 27, 1965) is a Canadian lawyer, business executive and former politician. He served as the 30th Premier of New Brunswick from 1999 to 2006. Lord was appointed as board chair of Ontario Power Generation in 2014.[1]

Early life

Lord was born in Roberval, Quebec, the youngest of four children of Marie-Émilie (Morin), a former teacher, and Ralph Frank Lord, a pilot.[2][3] His father was anglophone and his mother was francophone,[4] and he was raised in a bilingual household in Moncton, New Brunswick, where he spent the rest of his early life.[5]

After graduating from high school, he earned a bachelor's degree in social science with a major in economics, as well as a bachelor's degree in common law, from the Université de Moncton. While Lord attended the Université de Moncton, he had some electoral success being elected the president of the Université de Moncton student union (FEECUM) and served for three terms. Lord married his wife Diane in 1990; they have two children.[5] One of his brothers, Roger Lord, is an internationally acclaimed concert pianist.

Election as leader

In 1997, Lord was elected leader of the PC Party of New Brunswick and then became the MLA for the district of Moncton East in a 1998 by-election. Much of Lord's success came from the countless months he spent meeting party members across New Brunswick, and in part because he was also flawlessly bilingual and able to draw a strong concentration of support in the Moncton area, one of four cities in which members could vote. Lord defeated Norman Betts, who was the perceived frontrunner, as well as Margaret-Ann Blaney, who, with Betts, would go on to serve in Lord's cabinet and Cleveland Allaby.


On June 7, 1999, Lord's PC party overcame an early deficit in the polls to pull out a landslide victory in the provincial general election, winning 44 of 55 seats in the legislature. At just 33 years of age, Lord (on June 21) became one of the youngest Premiers in Canadian history.

Using the successful tactics from the 1994 United States elections of Republican Congressional leader, Newt Gingrich, Lord was elected on his "200 Days of Change" platform, consisting of 20 promises of things he would do within the first 200 days of his mandate if he were elected premier.

In 2002, Lord delivered what the media and others hailed as an electrifying speech at the national Progressive Conservative Party of Canada convention in Edmonton, Alberta, which started speculation that he might run for a job in federal politics, specifically, replacing Joe Clark as federal PC leader. A very strong movement of influential conservatives erupted after Edmonton to lobby the Premier into federal politics, everything from a website to a coast to coast organization[6] was being set up to woo the Premier to leave Fredericton and head to Ottawa.[7] A short time later, Lord shot down any notions that that might happen, choosing instead to remain focused on provincial politics and the 2003 New Brunswick election.

That election was not kind to Lord, with the Liberals using the issue of rising car insurance to catch the PC Party off guard. The Party wasn't able to regain its footing until relatively late in the campaign, and barely held on to a majority over the Liberal Party led by Shawn Graham.

Lord was again courted for federal politics in late 2003, when the PC Party of Canada and the Canadian Alliance merged into the Conservative Party of Canada. In the end, Lord opted to stay in New Brunswick due to his young family and the fact that his departure would force his party into a minority government situation.

In 2004, Lord's government came under fire over a variety of unpopular stances, most notably changes to health care. These included closures of beds at hospitals in Miramichi and Dalhousie, and consolidation of four hospitals in the Upper Saint John River Valley into one. The Liberals, under leader Shawn Graham, led in public opinion polls as of the summer of 2004 and maintained that lead; however, Lord remained the most favoured Leader to be Premier of New Brunswick for a time.

On August 10, 2006, Lord announced that on August 19, he would be calling an election for September 18. This election call was in response to the loss of a caucus member, Peter Mesheau, who announced his intention to resign to work in the private sector. The resignation would have caused Lord to slip into a minority government and the subsequent by-election could have flipped the balance of power to the Liberals. Lord decided that instead of a by-election deciding the fate of his government, he would let the people choose. Some observers saw Lord's election call as a bold move considering his popularity numbers had only recently started to surpass the Liberal Leader.

In the head to head campaign that followed, Lord lost the government to the Liberals, who took 29 seats to 26 for the Conservatives. The Tories did manage to win the popular vote, besting the Liberals 47.5% to 47.2%. Lord left the Premier's Office on October 3, 2006.

On December 13, 2006, Lord announced that he was resigning as PC leader, further he said he would resign his legislative seat in Moncton East on January 31, 2007.[8]


After leaving politics, Lord took a position as senior counsel with the law firm McCarthy Tetrault, splitting time between their offices in Montreal and Ottawa while continuing to maintain his residence in Fredericton.

On December 3, 2007, Lord was appointed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper as head of the Bilingualism Committee. He reviewed Canada's Official Language Laws, and he made suggestions where improvements can be made.[9] In December 2007, Lord was named as the President of the 2009 CHL Memorial Cup selection-committee.

In October 2008, it was announced that Lord would be appointed as president and CEO of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association, a lobbyist group that represents cellular, messaging, mobile radio, fixed wireless and mobile satellite carriers, as well as companies that develop and produce products and services for the industry.[10]

Lord was named in 2013 to the board of Ontario's public utility provider, Ontario Power Generation, and he was appointed as board chair in March 2014 by the government of Kathleen Wynne. He was tasked with cutting expenses after an auditor's report that came out late in the term of his predecessor, Jake Epp, criticized the agency for cost overruns and excessive executive wages and bonuses.[1]

On June 15, 2016, Lord was named as the Chief Executive Officer of Medavie Blue Cross effective September 1, 2016.[11]



  1. ^ a b "Former N.B. premier Bernard Lord named OPG chair". Toronto Star. March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 7, 2014.
  2. ^ "Ralph Frank Lord (1928-2015)". 2015-09-22.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-06-29. Retrieved 2015-10-21.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Trichur, Rita (December 22, 2012). "A wireless speaker with a political calling", The Globe and Mail, p. B3.
  6. ^ Shawn Berry, "Tory Youth leader in P.E.I. backs Lord for federal leadership". NB Telegraph-Journal, A1, September 9th 2002
  7. ^ Poitras, Jacques (2004). The Right Fight. ISBN 0864923767.
  8. ^ "Lord quits as PC leader, resigns seat". CBC News. 13 December 2006. Retrieved 2015-02-23.
  9. ^ "Prime Minister announces Bernard Lord will lead Cross-Canada Official Languages consultations" Archived December 5, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  10. ^ "Bernard Lord Named President & CEO of Wireless Industry Association". Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association press release. October 24, 2008. Archived from the original on May 24, 2009. Retrieved 2008-10-27.
  11. ^ "Bernard Lord appointed as Medavie CEO". Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  12. ^ "Order of New Brunswick recipients announced".